The “yellow vest” event is organized to rally large crowds against rising fuel costs and other policies proposed by France’s government. Diesel costs spiked by 16 percent from an average of 1.24 euros per liter to 1.48 euros and even hitting 1.53 euros in October.
Saturday’s demonstrations mark the second-consecutive week of protests. Violence broke out during the demonstrations, resulting in two deaths and over 600 others being injured, according to a report from the French interior ministry.
Additionally, one protester - who was renounced by “yellow vest” organizers - caused panic after demanding to be given audience with Macron, while wearing and displaying an explosive device.
"He demanded that the yellow vests be received at the Elysée" presidential palace, local prosecutor Yves Gambert told AFP.
The man was eventually detained by the police late Friday, following several hours of negotiations. "There was a real risk, real danger, he had an explosive charge around his neck... This was not fake," local official Bernard Gonzalez told AFP.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted, explaining that the man had threatened to use "unidentified explosive elements and tampered grenades".
About 3,000 police officers are dispatched to monitor the demonstrations.
Congratulations to the RAID Teams and @ Prefet49 who neutralized the individual threatening to blow themselves up. Claiming to act on behalf of "yellow vests", he had unidentified explosive elements and trafficked grenades. Thank you to our forces who protect us.
Macron’s Administration raised the price of diesel fuel to encourage environmentally friendly transport but was criticized as an action which was out of touch with the average citizen.
Protestorsclad in fluorescent yellow jackets, which all French motorists are required to have in their vehicles, blocked roadways with burning barricades and convoys to disrupt traffic.
Demonstrators also blocked fuel depots, shopping centers and some factories across France.
Denis Jacob, secretary general of police union Alternative Police, stated that “we know there are ultra-right and ultra-left infiltrators. You can also expect gangs from the suburbs and ‘black-blocks’.”